2006-07-13 13:36:00

Debates around gay parade in Moscow make Luzhkov urge West to elaborate common stand on democratic values

Moscow, July 13, Interfax - Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has stated that the reaction of Western countries to the Moscow authorities’ ban on the gay parade in Moscow has compelled him to address relationships between Russian and the West.

‘The last straw that made me address this problem has nothing to do with either strategic considerations or the need to evaluate various factors and attitudes voiced in the press and in Western politicians’ statements. The last straw was rather the reaction of the West to my decision to ban the gay parade in Moscow’, the mayor said during a round-table conference on relations between Russia and the West before the G8 meeting, which took place on Thursday.

He reminded the conference that the mayors of Paris and Berlin made censorious remarks about his ban some time ago.

‘The criticism was that the ban was a violation democracy, human rights and a manifestation of political shortsightedness. My explanation that every city is special and has its own mentality and traditions to be taken into account seemed unconvincing’, the mayor said.

He stressed that in taking the decision on the ban, he was also motivated by the attitude of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Luzhkov stated that the growing flow of allegations about the encroachment on freedom of expression and the ‘quasi-imperial manners’ in Russia necessitate an analysis of the situation with regard to democratic principles declared by Russia.

‘There is a need to form a common position on this issue’, the mayor noted.